Centre issues a new Letter of Comfort to Bharat Biotech
Bharat Biotech secured a fresh Letter of Comfort from the Centre for 45 lakh doses of its COVID-19 vaccine, COVAXIN. Out of those 45 lakh doses, over eight lakh doses will be supplied to friendly countries like Mauritius, the Philippines, and Myanmar free of cost, as a goodwill gesture. The company will dispatch 20 lakh doses of the earlier order in a couple of days.
First batch of COVAXIN was shipped to eleven cities
The 45 lakh doses will be dispatched when the Ministry places orders with the company. Previously, Bharat Biotech shipped the first batch of vaccines (each vial containing 20 doses) to Vijayawada, Guwahati, Patna, Delhi, Kurukshetra, Bengaluru, Pune, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Chennai, and Lucknow, after having received the government purchase order for 55 lakh doses. Bharat Biotech also donated 16.5 lakh doses to the Union Government.
MEA to look over the dispatch to various nations
Unlike regular tenders, the COVAXIN order doesn't fall into orders with timelines. It is dispatched in bits and pieces on the Ministry's call. Every fortnight, the Centre convenes a meeting through video conferencing with vaccine manufacturers and other stakeholders to ensure the proper supply-chain management is in place. The Ministry of External Affairs will monitor the supply of eight lakh doses to various countries.
COVAXIN was granted authorization for restricted use in emergency situations
COVAXIN was granted approval for restricted use in emergency situations in public interest as an abundant precaution, in clinical trial mode. It is India's totally indigenous COVID-19 vaccine developed in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the National Institute of Virology. The vaccine is developed and manufactured at Bharat Biotech's BSL-3 biocontainment facility, one of its kind in the world.